Matilda is a story for all ages!


Kai Hemingway, Assistant Editor

Matilda the Musical is an amazing show about Matilda Wormwood, a miracle child, and her journey through a troubled family life, a frightful headmistress, an exceptional teacher and the emergence of strange, new powers. 

The musical follows not just Matilda, but the other children present, Matilda’s own family, the villainous Miss Trunchbull, the exceptional Miss Honey, and the tale of the Escapologist and Acrobat. The musical spins an excellent tale of abuse of power, rebellion, story telling, found love, forgiveness and magical powers through song and dance, with an additional murder mystery. 

The original musical was written by Dennis Kelly and composed by Tim Minchin. This version was directed by BFA’s own Susan Palmer and choreographed by Alexis Kamitses with Melissa Ewell and Armand Messier acting as the musical directors. The production could not have happened without the help of the numerous other people involved. 

The whole musical was cast perfectly from Matilda herself to the brilliant ensemble. The cast includes both students, adults, and younger children, making the production diverse and realistic. Adsel Sparrow (‘20) plays Matilda and embodies the character amazingly with her mannerisms,singing, and dancing as the character.

Each actor brought many laughs and bouts of entertainment for the whole audience. The actors make the choice to use accents in the play with Mr. Wormwood, Pilot Deslauriers (‘22), sporting a particularly prominent and humorous one. The actors make their characters seem like school yard kids, whether they are older or younger. The students playing adults carry the essence of adulthood.

The actress playing Miss Trunchbull, Sophie Brown (‘20), truly embodies her role as a ruthless dictator of a headmistress with the way she speaks and carries herself throughout the play. While on the other hand, the actress playing Lavender, Megan Jamison (‘23), bounces around the stage in the perfect show of an excitable young girl. 

The set itself was magnificent. It is composed of multiple, brightly painted boxes with each representing a different area during the musical. Behind the set was a white curtain with lights behind it, as the show utilizes shadow work to make the production memorable. When the setting would change, different light fixtures in the boxes would light up and furniture would be moved to suit the appropriate area. 

In the beginning of the show, the set was hidden by the curtains, only to be revealed shortly after in a dramatic display. The set was used effectively with each setting clearly being distinct from the others. The lighting was amazing and well handled. At times a strobe light was used for a dramatic and interesting effect and it landed perfectly. 

The set is universal in the aspect that it can be used on any stage and performance space. One problem could be the inclusion of the swing set that is used. There would need to be a place to hang the swings and some theaters may not have that area. 

The production was incredible and successful in its goal of showing that no matter how small you think you are, you can always change your story. The production draws people in with humor, audience participation, jokes for all ages and the amazing story. Overall, Matilda the Musical is entertaining for all ages and is a show that for those who saw it, will never forget it.